Calculate the cost of buying your home

When you’re purchasing a home, the process comes with quiet a few expenses that you’ll need to take into account. In addition to saving up for the deposit, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how much you can expect to spend overall.

This guide outlines some of the possible expenses you’ll need to include in your budgeting process.

Cost of moving in the UK

The average cost of buying a property for a first-time buyer is typically estimated to be between £3,000 to £5,000, while the average cost of moving home in the UK is estimated to be around £10,000 to £12,000. However, it’s important to note that these figures can vary based on a number of factors such as property value, location, and specific services required. Additionally, higher value properties may incur additional stamp duty, which can significantly increase the overall cost of buying a home.

Deposit

The minimum deposit required to buy a house in the UK is usually 5% of the property’s value. However, this can vary depending on eligibility criteria and the type of property being purchased. It’s worth noting that being able to repay the remainder of the mortgage is a crucial factor in securing a mortgage and buying a home.

In general, a larger deposit can often help secure a lower interest rate on a mortgage. This is because a larger deposit means that the borrower is borrowing less money in relation to the property’s value, which reduces the lender’s risk. Additionally, a larger deposit can also help to lower monthly mortgage payments.

Solicitor and conveyancing fees

It’s important to obtain a clear quote from a solicitor or conveyancer before proceeding with the conveyancing process to understand the full costs involved. The costs can vary based on some of the factors below.

Who you work with can affect the cost of conveyancing. Different solicitors or conveyancers may charge different fees for their services

Property type can impact the costs of conveyancing, with flats typically costing more than houses due to additional legal work required for shared areas and other issues.

If you are buying and selling a property, you will need to pay for fees for both the purchase and sale transactions. This can increase the overall cost of conveyancing.

When considering the total cost of conveyancing, it’s important to take into account not just the solicitor’s fees, but also any VAT charges and third-party costs, such as searches and land registry fees.

  • Leasehold purchase £1,700 – £2,400
  • Freehold purchase – £1,500 – £2,000
  • Leasehold sale – £1,300 – £1,700
  • Freehold sale – £1,000 – £1,500

Estimates include VAT & disbursements.

If you are buying and selling you will need to consider costs for both sale and purchase.

Speak To an Expert

Whether you’ve just had an offer accepted on a property and you’re ready to go, or you’re simply wondering how much you need to save for a deposit, it’s never too soon to reach out.

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Stamp duty

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that must be paid when buying a property in the UK. The amount of stamp duty that you will pay will depend on several factors, including your buyer status (e.g., first-time buyer, home mover, or buying a second home or investment property), the purchase price of the property, and the specific rules in place at the time of the purchase.

The threshold and rates for SDLT can change over time, so it’s always important to stay up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations. There are also different rates for different parts of the UK, such as Scotland and Wales, which have their own property transaction taxes.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) laws in the UK can be complex and vary depending on several factors. If you are purchasing a property in England or Wales and its value is under £125,000, you won’t have to pay any stamp duty. However, if it’s a second home, you’ll have to pay SDLT on the amount over £40,000. For first-time buyers, there is no stamp duty on a property valued at less than £425,000.

Stamp duty table

Property PriceStamp Duty Rate
Up to £250,0000%
£250,001 – £925,0005%
£925,001 – £1.5m10%
£1.5m+12%

First time buyer stamp duty

If you’re buying your first home
You can claim a discount (relief) if the property you buy is your first home. This means you’ll pay:

  • no SDLT up to £425,000
  • 5% SDLT on the portion from £425,001 to £625,000

You’re eligible if you and anyone else you’re buying with are first-time buyers.
If the price is over £625,000, you cannot claim the relief. Follow the rules for people who’ve bought a home before.

Stamp duty on Buy to let’s and second homes

If you are buying a second home or a buy-to-let property in the UK, you’ll have to pay an additional 3% surcharge on top of the standard Stamp Duty Land Tax rates. This applies to properties valued at over £40,000. The 3% surcharge is payable on top of the standard Stamp Duty rates for the relevant property value band.

Buy-to-let and second home Stamp Duty tax band

BracketsStandard rateBuy-to-let/second home rate (1st April 2016)
£250,001 – £925,0005%8%
£925,001 – £1.5m10%13%
over £1.5m12%15

Use the SDLT calculator to work out how much tax you’ll pay.

Surveys

There are three main types of home buying survey in the UK, each with varying levels of detail and cost. Here’s a basic summary of each type, along with the average cost:

  • Condition report: This is the most basic type of survey, providing a general overview of the property’s condition. It is best suited to new-build properties or homes in good condition. The report highlights any significant issues that require attention, such as damp, subsidence, or structural defects. The average cost of a condition report is around £300-£400.
  • Homebuyer report: This type of survey is more detailed than a condition report, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the property’s condition. The report includes information about the property’s construction, condition, and any defects or potential issues. It also provides an overview of any necessary steps repairs and maintenance work, along with estimated costs. The average cost of a homebuyer report is around £500 -£700
  • Building survey: This is the most detailed and comprehensive type of survey, providing a thorough analysis of the property’s condition and construction. It is best suited to older properties or those in need of significant repair or renovation work. The report provides detailed information about the property’s structure, including walls, roofs, and floors, along with any defects or potential issues. It also includes advice on necessary repairs and maintenance work, along with estimated costs. The average cost of a building survey is around £800 – £1,500 depending on the size and complexity of the property.

Mortgage fees

Mortgage fees can vary depending on the lender and product that you choose. In general, products with the lowest interest rates may come with arrangement fees of around £1,000, although fees can also be a percentage of the loan amount.

However, it’s worth noting that it is possible to find mortgage products without any fees.
When applying for a mortgage, it’s important to carefully consider the fees involved, as they can add up and impact the overall cost of the mortgage. Some lenders offer the option to add the fees into the mortgage, which can be convenient but will also increase the amount borrowed and the total amount of interest paid over the life of the mortgage.

Mortgage broker fees

Some mortgage brokers charge fees for their services, which can be payable at different stages of the mortgage process, such as on application, offer, or completion.

These fees can vary depending on the broker and can range from a few hundred pounds to a percentage of the mortgage amount.

However, it’s also worth noting that there are mortgage brokers who do not charge a fee and instead receive their commission from the lender.

Estate agency fees

Estate agent fees in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the location and type of property being sold, as well as the estate agent being used.

Traditional estate agents typically charge around 1% of the sale price, although this can be higher in some areas like London where fees of up to 1.5% are not uncommon. Some estate agents may also charge less than 1%, while others may charge a flat fee.

It’s important to factor in estate agent fees when budgeting for the costs of selling a property, as they can significantly impact the final sale price. For example, if you were selling a property for £300,000 with a 1% estate agent fee, the fee would be £3,000.

Removals

The average removal costs in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the distance of the move, the size of the property being moved, and the amount of belongings being transported.
As a rough guide, the cost of a local move within the same city or town can range from £300 to £1,500, while a long-distance move can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £5,000 or more.
Other factors that can impact the cost of removals include the need for additional services, such as packing and unpacking, storage, and insurance.

Sale and purchase Example

  • £200,000 sale price
  • £350,000 purchase price
  • Estate agents fees – £2,000
  • Sale Solicitor – £1,500
  • Purchase Solicitor- £1,750
  • Survey – £600
  • Stamp duty – £5,000
  • Mortgage fee – £1,000
  • Removals – £500

Total £12,350

Ensure you have enough money to cover move costs and deposit

When moving home, it’s important to make sure that you have enough equity and funds to cover the costs associated with the move and also leave enough money for a deposit on your new home.

It’s also wise to leave some margin in your budget in case you end up selling your current home for less than you had hoped.

This can happen due to a number of factors, such as changes in the housing market or unexpected repairs that need to be made before the sale can go through. By leaving some margin in your budget, you can ensure that you have enough funds to cover any unexpected costs that may arise during the sale process.

For more info on buying a property, please contact a member of the Strive team, by emailing info@strivemortgages.co.uk or call us on 01273 002697.

Frequently asked questions about buying a property

Can I add stamp duty to my mortgage?

One option to cover the costs of moving home and stamp duty is to increase your mortgage, but it’s important to carefully consider the financial implications before doing so.
Increasing your mortgage means that you will be borrowing more money, which will increase your monthly repayments and the amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan. Additionally, if the increase in your mortgage takes you above a certain loan to value threshold, your interest rate may go up as well.

Do I have to have a survey?

You are not legally required to have a survey when purchasing a property, but there are many benefits to doing so.
A survey can give you a more detailed understanding of the condition of the property you are buying, and can help identify any potential issues or defects that may need to be addressed.
This can help you make a more informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase and can also give you an idea of any repair or maintenance costs you may need to budget for in the future.
Your mortgage lender will typically carry out a mortgage valuation for their benefit, but this is not a full survey and is intended to provide the lender with an estimate of the property’s value rather than a comprehensive assessment of its condition.